Wine Pairings for Home for the Holidays #SundaySupper

This week’s #SundaySupper theme “Home for the Holidays”, and is all about holiday traditions. Americans are such a diverse people.  As such, we have diverse holiday traditions that reflect our multitude of heritages. I prefer to focus on the common threads that run through the our diverse national fabric.  Among those common threads are family and tradition, and that’s  #SundaySupper movement is all about.

Our family tradition is to gather on Christmas Eve for our holiday meal and opening gifts (it used to be one gift when I was a kid, and when my kids were small – since we all adults now, and getting together can be like herding cats, we just open all the gifts on Christmas Eve). We’ve enjoyed Prime Rib, the last couple of years, but don’t really have a long-standing standard holiday meal. I guess, it’s more about getting together than what we eat.

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For this week’s “Home for the Holidays” theme, as best as I can, my wine pairing recommendations will reflect our diversity.  Aside from wanting to make my wine pairing recommendations congruent with this week’s theme, my reason for doing so also reflects some pragmatic food and wine pairing advice…that is pair the foods of a place with the wines of that place (Spanish wines with Spanish food, German wine with German food, etc).The flavors of food and wines that have “grown up” together over centuries (at least primarily in the case of the European “Old World” countries) are almost always a natural match. So where I could readily discern a heritage of the dish, my wine pairing recommendation(s) will be for a wine from that country. Of course, there are exceptions, but keeping this guideline in mind is a great place to start.

Here is this week’s stellar line-up of dishes.  My wine pairing recommendations are italicized.


Pair these breakfast dishes (except the coffee cake) with sparkling wine. Nothing like adding some sparkle to your morning to start the day!.  Look for Scharffenberger Brut Excellence, a California sparkling wine from Mendocino County.  It’s a blend of Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir with a lovely red fruit, apple, citrus and a touch of honey character.  

Pair the coffee cake with the Broadbent 10 year Malmsey Madeira. One of the things I appreciate about Madeira is that it’s relatively indestructible.  Once opened, it will keep for at least 6 months.  It’s a great dessert wine to keep on hand because it has a backbone of natural acidity.  It a great match for fruitcake, or rich desserts made with cream or chocolate. Or it can be the dessert in and of itself (If you have a sweet tooth, Madeira can satisfy it, and it has few calories too most other dessert choices!;-) 

Appetizers & Snacks

Pair these dishes with the Scharffenberger Brut Excellence

Main Dishes and Sides

Pair this dishes with a white Rhone blend. What’s great about blends is that the combination of grape varietals creates vinous synergy – a wine that is greater than the sum of its parts. Look for the 2011 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc. It’s a blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne. It’s a crisp and aromatic wine with honeysuckle and stone fruit aromas that follow onto the palate. It also has very good acidity and an appealing minerality that make it versatile food partner.

Pair the following dishes with the 2011 Burgáns Albariño Rias Baixas a crisp, fresh food-friendly white wine from Spain with a crisp apple, apricot and peach character. 

Pair these dishes with Gruner Vetliner (Groo-ner Velt-Leen-er), the primary white grape variety of Austria.  It is typically medium-bodied, high-acid mineral driven wine that is very food friendly.  Look for the 2011 Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner. 

Pair these dishes with Sangiovese (that is if you prefer wine over the delightful Martinis;-). I recommend the 2010 La Mozza I Perazzi Morellino di Scansano. It’s a “Super-Tuscan blend of 85% Sangiovese, 5% Syrah, 5% Alicante, 2% Colorino and 3% Ciliegiolo.  It shows a wonderful mixed berry, and spice character with a bit of smoky tobacco, and licorice aromas. 

Pair this dish with the Scharffenberger Brut Excellence sparkling wine:

Pair these dishes with Torrontes, a white Argentine wine grape variety that produces delightful, spicy, perfumed wines.  Look for the 2011 Bodega Colome Torrontes. It’s off-dry with an aromatic fresh citrus, kiwi, and white flower character. 

Pair these dishes with a Riesling.  One of my favorites is the 2011 Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Drachenstein “Dragonstone” Riesling. It’s an off-dry Riesling with an apple, pear, citrus, and mineral character with great acidity. 

Pair this dish with the 2009 Boas Vinhas Tinto Dao, a red wine from Portugal that is a blend of the indigenous Portuguese grapes Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro and Tinta Roriz with a  plum, dried berry, blackberry and spice character that is layered with supple tannins and good acidity.

Pair this dish with a Moscato d’Asti Moscato d’Asti from Italy.  Look for the 2011 Saracco Moscato d’Asti. It shows a sweet, fragrant, delicate, floral, tropical fruit, and a hint of honey character.  It’s “frizzante”, which means it’s not as effervescent as most sparkling wines. It’s also a wonderful example of why I love sparkling wines, they can work with all the courses of a meal from appetizers through dessert. 


Pair these desserts with a Sauternes,  a sweet wine from the Sauternais region of the Graves section of Bordeaux. They are made from  SémillonSauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes affected by noble rot.  Look for the 2005 Guiraud Sauternes.  It has a full-bodied, honeyed, lemon tart, baked apple, baking spice, and  vanilla cream character

Pair these desserts with an Oloroso Sherry, a denser richer style of Sherry.  Look for the Lustau East Indian Solera. It’s a provocative sweet creamy Sherry with a toffee, fig, caramel, raisin, and baking spice  (cinnamon and clove) character. 

Pair these Italian desserts with the 2011 Saracco Moscato d’Asti.

Pair this dish with a late harvest Riesling.  Look for the  2011 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese. It’s a has an elegant, floral, spicy, exotic, and tropical fruit character. 

Pair this dish with an a German Red wine made from the Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) grape variety. Look for the 2009 Friedrich Becker Estate Pinot Noir.  It’s a spicy treat with a strawberry, cherry, and earthy character that will stand up to having the Pfeffernusse dipped in it, or used as a based for gluhwein, a spiced red wine drink!


What does it mean for you to be Home for the Holidays?  Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper on December 23rd.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our #SundaySupper to talk about our Holiday Traditions.  We are so excited to have you join us.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

Please feel free to share with us and our followers your favorite Holiday recipe on our #SundaySupper Pinterest Board.  We are excited to have you!


  1. As always beautiful wine pairings. Oh, and yes to sparkling wine for breafast :) ~ Bea @ galactopdx

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Beate…yes..bubbly for breakfast…lunch and dinner please!

  2. I like that you paired me with an argentine wine, though I usually reach for red, it´s so hot now a chilled white is the way to go. Happy holidays Martin!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Paula…I wouldn’t mind some heat here about now (I enjoy hot weather)…Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  3. Martin, I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed your wine pairings this past year. I am honored to have you join us for #SundaySupper. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Isabel…I’m honored to be part of the #SundaySupper family…Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  5. juanitascocina says:

    I always love your pairings! Once again, you’ve blown me away! Merry Christmas!

  6. Tora Estep says:

    As always, thanks so much for the wine pairings! Great tip to pair wines of a region with foods of a region. That makes so much sense!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the kind words Tora! Happy Holidays!

  7. Perfect wine pairings! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the kind words Heather! Happy Holidays!

  8. Oh yes, the brut sounds perfect with the bindaetteok! Thanks so much! You always amaze me!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Amy….if in doubt…I like bubbles!

  9. Hezzi-D says:

    I love a good riesling! I can’t wait to try it tonight after dinner with my Stollen. As always, thanks for the wonderful pairings!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Heather. Let me kmow how it turns out!

  10. Yes, a sparkling wine would be wonderful for brunch with my tea ring! Love all your other selections, too! I think you have the toughest job of us all!!! Merry Christmas!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Liz! Wishing you and your a very Merry Christmas

  11. Martin a bubbly treat with Eggs Benny sounds perfect together!

  12. smallwalletbigappetite says:

    I have so loved learning more about wines from your wine pairings this year. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

  13. Wow Martin! You always blow me away with your fabulous wine pairings. Thanks so much for sharing your wine knowledge and being a part of Sunday Supper!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Renee! I’ve had a great time being part of such a great group of food bloggers! I hope you and your had a wonderful Christmas, and wishing you continued success in 2013!

  14. Great pairings as always Martin! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and I hope you have a Happy New Years!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Megan…that means a lot to me coming from a fellow wine-o! Wishing you all the best in 2013

  15. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I always enjoy reading your pairings, and look forward to being able to enjoy more than just a few sips after I have the baby in March.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Brianne! Wishing your and your family all the best in 2013!

  16. Wow, Martin! Every week I look forward to your pairings and you really outdid yourself this week. I want to run out right now for the bottle that you recommend for my chicken-in-a-pot. I know so little about wine (even though I love drinking it) so thank you for everything you’ve taught me so far. I look forward to another year of alcohol education! I hope you’ve had a fabulous, boozy holiday season with all your loved ones!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the kind words Nancy. Wishing you and your all the best in 2013

  17. Now I am hungry and thirsty! Great job. Hope you have a great 2013!

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